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Preparing for Midlife

As many of you know, I have become the director of http://www.midlife.com. The reason I committed to this is my conviction that midlife is one of the primary developmental transitions in life. We all recognize that puberty is a major stage of development because of the hormonal, social, and emotional changes that take place. It turns out that midlife involves hormonal, social, and emotional changes as well. It has become an intense transition in the modern world because people are living longer. As a result, the average person will discover that he has his greatest influence between the ages of 50 and 70. He is mature, experienced, and still has plenty of energy to be involved in worthwhile pursuits.
The potential of our lives during these two decades is so great that it creates a dramatic transition. We become acutely aware of the changes in our physical bodies, the emotional needs of our soul and the impact of relationships to make us feel both better and worse about ourselves. If we are prepared for this time of life, it becomes one of our greatest experiences. We harness the possibilities and live more efficiently since we know what we like and don’t like. If we are not prepared, however, the pressure to become a highly influential individual overwhelms us and produces chaotic behavior.
One of the most important skills that prepares us for midlife is developing a friendship with Jesus. Your Creator knows exactly how you are wired and how to lead you through each developmental stage of your life. Jesus knows what if feels like to succeed in life so he can rejoice with your victories. He also knows what it feels like to be betrayed, abandoned, and mistreated so he can empathize with your setbacks. The place we learn about Jesus and get to know Him best is His word. Psalm 119:9-16 is a helpful guide for all of us who want to make the Bible an intricate part of our lives. In these few short verses we discover:
• Friends of Jesus apply God’s word to their lives, “How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.” (v. 9)
• Friends of Jesus memorize God’s word, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (v. 11)
• Friends of Jesus want to be taught God’s word, “Praise be to you, LORD; teach me your decrees.” (v. 12)
• Friends of Jesus are enthusiastic about the Bible, “I rejoice in following your statutes
as one rejoices in great riches.” (v. 14)
• Friends of Jesus think about God’s word, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.” (v. 15)
If you want your midlife years to be the best years of your life, start today. Choose one of the habits above and practice it. This is not the only skill that helps you corral your influence but it is the one that makes the rest of them easier. May God do through you what is beyond you as you develop your friendship with Jesus.

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